Darn it, and I didn’t even get named Worst Person in the World for writing at the “one of the greatest sources for sophistry on the web,” according to Keith Olbermann. Olby picks up on ABC’s non-scoop from Sarah Palin’s use of her book as a donor incentive by getting enraged over Palin’s supposed collection of $6300 in royalties from purchasing $63,000 books from donations to her PAC. Does Olbermann actually know that Palin collected $6300 in royalties, or any other amount? Of course not. What do you expect from an MS-NBC news broadcast — actual news?
First, let’s just mull over the accusation that Hot Air publishes sophistry from the man who called Scott Brown “racist” and “homophobic” and declared pickup trucks “racist.” This prompted Jon Stewart to rip his strident desperation, and his boss had to protect him from his own colleagues in a memo imposing a gag order on other MS-NBC hosts:
But there are also more subjective signs that Olbermann’s stridency and lack of proportion are alienating some of his natural allies. Quite a few eyebrows elevated last week when Jon Stewart, in a parody of one of Olbermann’s “Special Comment” segments, called out the newsman for going way over the top in his denunciations of Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts. The criticism was all the more remarkable, given that Stewart and Olbermann usually take the same side on most issues, especially when it comes to Fox News and the Republicans.
Olbermann’s overheated rhetoric also drew a sharp response from Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s house conservative, who called his fellow host’s attack on Brown “reckless” and “sad.” The exchange (and a few earlier, similar incidents) inspired network president Phil Griffin to issue a stern memo admonishing his charges: “We do not publicly criticize our colleagues. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and will not be tolerated.”
The royalties issue is really a red herring, but even had she taken normal royalties, she’s a private citizen and not an officeholder. It’s not any sort of a conflict of interest for an author to collect royalties on her own books. But that’s assuming she did, and as Kevin McCullough explained, it’s more likely she didn’t in order to get more books to give to bigger donors:
If Palin has a somewhat traditional deal, she would receive royalties on copies purchased (even by her) up to a certain percentage of that list price. It is also likely that there is a drop off point at which she can (or her PAC) pay for books at even a greater reduction and automatically forfeit her royalties.
In fairness she probably paid somewhere between $4-$7 per book. Likely without royalties received and that would have purchased some 10-15,000 books.
Palin’s book has sold over 2 million copies. I don’t think she’s scrounging for an extra $6300, although with Olbermann’s ratings falling as low as his “journalistic” ethics, it wouldn’t surprise me if Olby starts scrounging sometime soon.
Update: Andrew Malcolm wonders if the writing is on the wall for Olby.